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Lewis Silkin advises longstanding client Walker Books on its sale to Trustbridge Global Media

13 May 2020

Lewis Silkin has advised longstanding client Walker Books on the sale of the group to Trustbridge Global Media.

The transaction represents an important step forward for the 40-year-old independent publisher of children’s books that has brought such titles as Where’s Wally?/Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, Judy Moody by Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds, and Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz to international recognition and bestseller status around the globe.

The sale of the shares in the company, which were owned by two discretionary trusts (on behalf of Walker’s employees, officers and their families) and over 300 individual shareholders, now provides the Walker group of companies with enhanced ability to access new markets and is expected to help accelerate Walker’s growth and expansion in publishing and other media. The Walker group of companies comprises Walker Books UK (London, UK); Candlewick Press (Somerville, MA); Walker Books Australia (Sydney, Australia) and Walker Productions (London, UK).

The Lewis Silkin team on this interesting and complex transaction was led by corporate partner Jo Evans, with support from corporate tax partner, Matthew Rowbotham, banking partner Fergus Payne and corporate senior associate, Francesca Cunningham.

Commenting on the deal, Karen Lotz (Group Managing Director) said:

"It is fitting that Walker has completed this complex transaction under the exceptionally skilful guidance of partner Jo Evans, with additional navigation handled by her superb corporate team at Lewis Silkin. The firm has in fact been instrumental in Walker's success over our forty years of business to date. Getting to know the corporate team during our recent negotiations has been one of the highlights in that long relationship - when they say "we", speaking on behalf Walker, we have absolute comfort, because we know how much they care about doing what's right for us."

Commenting on the deal, Jo Evans said:

"Walker Books has been a client of the firm for nearly 40 years, we advised the founder Sebastian Walker when the company was established and have acted for the Walker group ever since.  It was a personal privilege and a professional delight to have been given the opportunity to advise the Company and the Board on the sale to Trustbridge and this brand new chapter in the life of Walker Books.  The new owners will provide the hard working and visionary management team with a platform to continue to provide children’s literature of the highest quality for generations to come. It is notable also that we were able to complete the transaction on the same economic terms that had been negotiated earlier, at a time when so many plans have been modified due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

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